100 Next-Era Leaders in Asia 2017-2018 -The region's best brightest, most promising-


President Etsuko Satake

Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture
Message to young people
Modern Japan has fewer children and, increasingly, more unmarried young people. However, I believe you can enrich your life by finding a partner to share married life. It is a wonderful thing for people to support each other and share their lives together. You all have a lot of options to choose from. In this current global age, an international marriage is one of the options. I want you to enjoy your life every day with a specific goal to be married by a specific age. That would lead to saving this country suffering from fewer children, I believe.

I was married when I was in college, and had my first baby when I was 24. I was 30 years old when I had my first job. My friends told me “You don’t have much chance to have a good career at your age,” but I had a dream. I wanted as much as I could to help men and women find marriage, and so help a country that is suffering from a shortage of married couples. That strong desire has been the driving force for my continuing work ever since.

There may be a lot of people who don’t understand how great it is to be married. That’s understandable: These days an unmarried person can live without any inconvenience. It’s common to see a woman with a job. But, imagine if you became sick. How much more secure you will feel if you have a partner you can trust sitting next to you to take care of you. I believe nothing gives you more emotional stability than marriage.

But don’t a lot of young people have negative impressions about being married? There’s a feeling that marriage makes you sacrifice your free time and money. Perhaps it’s because of the unique tendency for Japanese to seek to keep a low profile, but even married aged people have no hesitation to say “marriage is the end of a life.” If more and more people stay unmarried, what will happen to the future of Japanese society, and moreover, to the future of children born in this country? I believe my mission is to change the concept of marriage that is wide-spread in Japan.

Marriage is just like a fork in the road. It’s also something you have to earn. If you miss the fork in the road, you are, like it or not, very likely to stay single for the rest of your life. It is also true that women have higher risks related to giving birth. Don’t be too relaxed and think “I can get married whenever I want.” Instead, act on your awareness of the fork in the road and try to keep a sense of crisis.

Young people have a long way to go in their lives — decades. They are filled with hopes, and it’s easy to live single for the rest of your life and focus on the work you love. It’s up to you. But, if you choose that fork in the road, I want you to know how wonderful it is to have a chance to build up your career before finding a right partner, getting married, and eventually having a child. I do really hope that you will have a forked road named “marriage” in your life, just like I did in my life.

Company Profile

Minato-ku, Tokyo
wedding consultant